Using sacrificial sugar structures, we have formed a 3D fluidic vascular network in a polymeric matrix. Melt-spun sugar fibers (cotton candy) were used to form channels with diameters and densities similar to those of capillaries. To interface to macroscopic fluidic systems, larger sacrificial sugar structures were used to form an artificial inlet and outlet. To verify that the channel network supported flow, we used video fluorescence microscopy to image both 2 m fluorescent polystyrene spheres in an aqueous solution and fluorescently labeled blood. This fabrication process may be applied to a wide range of polymeric materials and is rapid, inexpensive, and highly scalable.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics